A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this book.
You don't need to be perfect to be a leader. You don't have to be fearless to be brave.
Positive Role Models
This book, like its predecessor, is unapologetically feminist. The main theme is the plight of women and girls in a patriarchal system, including those who band together to fight that arrangement through teamwork and those who help to perpetuate it.
The main characters are Black. There's a trans character.
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Violence & Scariness
There are many scenes of violence, consistent with the genre. Some of these scenes are graphic and disturbing, like slitting a throat.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
There's an ongoing romance between main character Deka and a love interest.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that The Merciless Ones by Namina Forna is the second book in a planned 3-volume fantasy series that began with The Gilded Ones. It begins six months after the previous story ends, as goddess Deka continues to fight male warriors and worshippers of a rival god.There are many scenes of violence, consistent with the genre. Some of these scenes are graphic and disturbing, like slitting a throat. There's an ongoing romance between the main character and a love interest.
Is It Any Good?
This sequel meets the high standard set by its predecessor. In The Merciless Ones, Namina Forna brings us to the aftermath of the fight to liberate a group of oppressed goddesses and the hero's attempt to extend freedom to all members of the society. Author does a good job illustrating how difficult it can be to transform a society and reverse the conditioning that sustain harmful ways of relating to other people.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.
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